Frog With Skin That Looks Like A Rock Discovered in Vietnam

March 21, 2017

A frog first discovered in 2013 in the limestone hills of northern Vietnam has been confirmed to be a new species. The frog, the stone leaf-litter frog (Leptolalax petrops), looks like a small rock, hence its name, and is just 2 to 5 centimeters in length.

The frog is dull brown in coloration and features a gold-copper iris. It is named stone leaf because the skin of the females is very rough, and its texture makes it look like part of the rocks that it lives around, according to Jodi Rowley, the author of the study on the species and Curator of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Biology at the Australian Museum Research Institute.

stone leaf frog

Jodi Rowley/Australian Museum

Stone leaf-litter frog (Leptolalax petrops)

The frog is known to inhabit just two locations in Vietnam, near the provinces of Lai Chau and Tuyen Quang. The forests in which the frogs are known to inhabit are rapidly disappearing, according to the study author. “We observed forest loss even in the areas where we found the frog,” Rowley said.

Based on their findings, the authors are recommending that the frog be listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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